Levi Onwuzurike injury update: Ready for Lions training camp?

Detroit Lions Training Camp
Detroit Lions Training Camp / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

After missing all of the 2022 season, will Detroit Lions defensive tackle Levi Onwuzurike be ready for training camp.

Early in last year's training camp, Lions defensive tackle Levi Onwuzurike was sidelined by a back injury. There was hope it could be avoided, but in October he had back surgery and missed his entire second season.

Earlier this offseason, an update on Onwuzurike from Lions head coach Dan Campbell was not promising, based purely on there apparently just not being much to say.

Onwuzrike was hampered by a back issue throughout his 2021 rookie season, before the more serious recurrence last year. He's been at Lions' OTAs, cleared to run but not practicing, and he is obviously a big health-related question mark until further notice. In a certain light, he could be considered to be on the roster bubble.

Levi Onwuzurike injury update: Is there any chance he'll be ready for Lions training camp?

Campbell spoke Thursday morning at OTAs. Via Pride of Detroit, here's what he had to say about Onwuzurike.

"I would say he’s probably right on schedule for what we thought,” Campbell said at his Thursday morning press conference. “He just got on the grass really about a week ago to where he can begin to run.”"

"“So then really it’s, okay, how fast can—now that he’s moving, he’s out there on the grass, he’s able to run, he’s off the Altered G (anti-gravity treadmill)—how fast can his body come back? We don't entirely have that answer,” “Certainly, we’re hoping that we get him in camp at some point, but I can’t give you a timeline of that right now.”"

Dan Campbell

At this point, anything Onwuzurike provides this season (or ever?) has to be considered a welcome bonus by the Lions. Now is not the time to rush anything regarding his progress with his back. But the time for him to be healthy and assert himself is coming, and it's not clear if he'll be anywhere near up to that task.

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